MIAMI COUNTY — The Tour de Donut welcomed nearly 2,000 bike and donut enthusiasts who traversed the county Saturday morning.
New York resident Yasir Salem captured his fourth championship ride with a negative 79-minute ride time — by eating 44 donuts. Salem still holds the Donut Club record for 48 donuts in a race set in 2014. Every donut consumed shaves five minutes off of the rider’s time.
“Head Donut” Roger Bowersock said plans are already in the works to improve upon the tour’s new location in the city of Troy.
“We are having a great time. I think everything went very well. We are very well known for doing new things to improve upon the previous year. Attempting to put this event on at a new location, we knew there would be snafus and glitches, so we are already talking about how we are going to change things to make it better for next year,” Bowersock said. “All in and all, it went very well.”
Bowersock said with its first year in Troy under its belt, he heard feedback from riders about how they plan to return to Troy and bring the whole family for the 12th annual ride.
“We love being in Troy. Our participants really loved the experience of all the added stuff. We heard nothing but positive things and plans how they want to bring their families and take time after the ride to do everything that was planned here,” Bowersock said. The Tour de Donut previously was held in the town of Ansonia. Bowersock said the move to Troy was to expand its rider count as well as for cyclists to enjoy the city’s many activities and amenties after their ride.
Bowersock also had Mother Nature on the Tour’s side on Saturday.
“We got so lucky with the weather. It was a beautiful day,” he said. “We are super excited about next year.”
Two medical transports for bicycle crashes were reported, according to Bowersock. Both incidents were “bike on bike” accidents.
Volunteers helped with a variety of activities ranging from beverage pourers to doling out the donuts to assist in the activities of the day.
More than 20 operators with the Miami County Amateur Radio Club assisted in helping with the safety and notification communication system throughout the race course.
“I’ve helped with many, many events but never a bike event with donuts,” said Joe Binkley, of Tipp City. His wife Diana also helped with the event. “We are just helping make sure everything runs smoothly. It’s been a lot of fun to watch so far.”
Miami County Visitors Bureau director Diana Thompson said she estimated approximately 2,400 people filled the downtown square for the bike event. According to the Tour de Donut website, 1,898 riders were officially signed in online.
“Once they lined up they just kept coming and coming and coming! It took 13 minutes to get everybody through the starting gate. It was really neat to see,” Thompson said.
Riders were treated to various events around the downtown square including food trucks, Columbus Zoo animal review on stage and live music throughout the afternoon and into the evening hours.
To learn more about the Tour de Donut, visit www.thetourdedonut.com